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The largest newspaper in Buchanan's district, the Sarasota Herald Tribune, favored Jennings in 2006 and endorsed Democrat Barack Obama Hermes Belts Images
Buchanan's private group of domestic and import brand dealerships ranks No. dealership groups based on 2007 new vehicle retail sales. Last year the company sold nearly 16,000 new vehicles at retail.
The newspaper's endorsement concluded that Buchanan "is due the presumption of innocence. . He deserves to be judged by voters based on his representation of the district."Self made man
and his reputation
Political trends appear to make this a big year for Democrats. But Mary Hanagan, AFIT PAC's executive director and a longtime political observer, says the evidence she has seen suggests Buchanan will win re election.
each in the $5 million to $25 million range.
Another paper in the region, the St. Petersburg Times, published an investigation of Buchanan's biography in September. The report focused on American Speedy Printing, a chain of franchised print shops based in Michigan.
The company collapsed in 1992, soon after Buchanan stepped down as its principal owner. The newspaper said Buchanan left behind many disgruntled franchise owners, some of whom lost their investments.
Today, Buchanan has a wide range of business holdings and investments other than his dealerships. They include real estate, an aircraft leasing business and a yacht management company.
State and federal officials said they did not find evidence of vote tampering. Ultimately, Democrats relented and resolved to defeat Buchanan this year.
Some plaintiffs are working with Duane Overholt, a legal consultant and self styled whistle blower against dealerships across the country.
Buchanan's Democratic challenger in this week's election says charges at the heart of lawsuits against Buchanan Auto Group dealerships reflect badly on the lawmaker's character. The suits allege abusive finance and insurance practices, campaign donations coerced from dealership employees and retaliation against would be whistle blowers.
The economy and the war are important, of course. But in Florida's 13th Congressional District, a raft of lawsuits against Rep. Vern Buchanan and his big auto dealership group is a defining campaign issue.
Buchanan, a first term Republican from Sarasota, is one of two auto dealers Hermes Belt For Sale Uk in Congress and among its wealthiest members. But political opponents and newspaper reports suggest that his rags to riches resume is tarnished.
Buchanan spent heavily on his campaign in 2006 but has relied on outside donors this year. Two political action committees representing the interests of dealers nationwide have given the maximum possible to Buchanan's campaign $10,000 each.
Buchanan's supporters say the accusations in the lawsuits are part of a politically motivated smear campaign. For his part, Buchanan says he is removed from daily operations at his 16 dealerships.
Buchanan, 57, declined to be interviewed by Automotive News last week. A spokeswoman said Buchanan was too busy campaigning. Still, her campaign charges that Buchanan and his past and current businesses have been sued 184 times.
"I absolutely have made character an issue, as it should be," says Christine Jennings, who lost to Buchanan by 369 votes two years ago amid charges of voting irregularities that ultimately were dismissed.
Buchanan is personally named as a defendant in some of the suits, which are pending. News reports say he rejected settlement offers by plaintiffs, calling them shakedowns. It estimates that he is worth at least $65 million and says that figure probably is low.
a near draw in 2006, Democrats sought to keep Buchanan from taking his House seat. They said thousands of ballots cast in the most Democratic part of the west Florida district did not register votes in the House election.
Those groups are the Dealers Election Action Committee, affiliated with the National Automobile Dealers Association, and the Automotive Free International Trade PAC, which collects and distributes contributions mainly from import brand dealers.
His latest congressional financial disclosure form runs 49 pages. It includes at least six assets that are Gucci Belt Gold And White
During his freshman term, Buchanan has not kept a high profile on auto industry issues. He has focused on small business and the concerns of military veterans.
for president this year. But it also supports Buchanan's re election.
This year, former employees and others filed a wave of suits against Buchanan's dealerships. They claim that dealership executives encouraged F practices that victimized customers, demanded that subordinates make illegal donations to Buchanan's campaign and punished employees who resisted.
After Buchanan and Jennings battled to Hermes Belt New Collection
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